Sue and Martin in Mallorca 2019

Sue and Martin in Mallorca 2019
On the Archduke's Path in Mallorca

Saturday 26 December 2020

Christmas Day 2020 - Around Appleton

This Christmas Day, social distancing etiquette restricted our non-media social contact to a walk with Richard and Jenny. We chose Jen Darling's 'Appleton' walk from her 'Walks in West Cheshire and Wirral' book. I wrote about this back in September - described here - so this is basically a small collection of images by which to recall our current outing, which was on a lovely clear frosty morning (more of these, please).

Our first pause in the walk was to cross the road to look at the double-faced sculpture of the Roman god Janus, atop a sandstone column.

At the end of Hillside Road, the path goes left to avoid Hillside Farm, and since I was here in September new fences and gates/stiles have been installed. Hillside Farm can be seen in the distance in the next picture.

Here, there were good views today over the Cheshire countryside in the low sun.

After passing numerous empty and eerily silent duck houses on the way to Bellfields Farm, we turned left at the farm, down Park Lane, passing a golf course and another farm before reaching Appleton Reservoir, a haven for wildlife.

We were grateful to the hard frost that had stabilised what would have been a very muddy walk around the reservoir just a day earlier or a day later.

Hough's Lane took us down to the Bridgewater Canal, but not before we were held up briefly by this cherry picker.

The local farmer uses a drone to monitor her livestock, and unfortunately it had got stuck in the top of a tall tree. Rescue was imminent.

After this we strolled along the towpath until just before Red Lane Bridge, where a convenient bench served as a table for drinks and cakes - luckily Sue and I had enough for four, as Richard's absent mind had left their rucksack at home...

Leaving the canal at London Bridge, we made our way up the 'rabbit run' to gain a good view over Warrington and its surroundings, with Winter Hill prominent in the distance.

After that we took easy paths back to Dudlow Green Road, and our starting point behind the Co-op, after passing a delightful little pond by Pineways, where we saw a heron (one of many today) and a buzzard, as well as many smaller birds.

The 10 km stroll took us about two and a half hours and proved a great way to spend Christmas morning. Thanks go to Richard and Jenny for their excellent company.

Friday 25 December 2020

Some Christmas Photos

Fletcher Moss Park

The Bridgewater Canal at dawn in Timperley

Christmas morning present opening

Christmas dinner in Timperley

Thursday 24 December 2020

Happy Christmas and Best Wishes for 2021

 With Very Best Wishes from Martin and Sue in Timperley.

Wednesday 23 December 2020

A Christmas Quiz

I've recorded a number of picture quizzes on these pages over the years, mostly documenting the quiz that I habitually set for our annual Christmas walk that is attended by around thirty people. This year Covid affected those plans, but a quiz was held on Sunday, thanks to Zoom, my technical guru Jenny, and the submission of some great pictures by participants.

Here are the pictures, together with an abbreviated set of 37 questions. The Sunday version had about 45 questions, and three teams got around 29 points - Sue B, Sue and Phil, and Martin and Jo. Well done to all of them. Prizes will be awarded next time I see them for beer in a pub. (Could be some time.)

How many can you score?

Which Water is this?
How deep is it?

What is this structure known as?
It was built in 1817 to commemorate what?

Where is this?
Of what range of hills is it the highest point?

What is the common name for this Alpine flower?

Name the loch?
Name the mountain?

What is this sculpture in the Pennines?
In which county may it be found?

Name this fine Torridon mountain?
From where was the picture taken?

Name the two closer hills?

Name the castle?

What is behind Richard and Jenny?
What country were they in?

What is this?
Where was the picture taken?

Where is this lunch spot for a walk in Cheshire?
Name the bird?

Which mountain are Keith and Carol ascending?
Name the mountain in the background?

Where is this 1810 structure?
Whose Golden Jubilee does it commemorate?

Name the mere?
Which bird could have taken the picture?

What is this?
Sightings near here of which animal occasionally surprised walkers in post-war times?

Name this flower, that when eaten by cows results in chocolate flavoured milk?

Name the island?
Name the foreground peak (on the left)?

What is Phil not looking at?
What would he find if he went there (within the clump of trees)?

What hill am I looking at?
Which animal features in the middle distance?

Tuesday 22 December 2020

Where am I Now?

I haven't time to log all the Christmas quiz pictures today, so here's another random effort, from 25 September 2005. It's obviously the Peak District, but can anyone remind me as to which dale we were looking into?

Monday 21 December 2020

Another Stroll to Dunham Massey and back

This is another 'repeat report' cataloging yet another stroll beside the canal to Dunham Massey and back, a 13 km walk taking about two and a half hours.

Beyond Seamons Moss Bridge the towpath gets very muddy at this time of year. It's a shame that the proper re-surfacing of the Bridgewater Way route seems to be on hold. I can't find evidence of a 'Plan'; perhaps it's a secret.

We passed a large barge moored not far from Dunham Massey. The picture shows raindrops in the water, but it didn't really rain until we got back to Timperley, from where Richard and Jenny had a wet ride home, and I had a wet visit to the empty Spar shop.

As usual, we left the towpath by the Swan with Two Nicks. Closed at the time, so we used one of their picnic tables for a coffee and cake break.

The red deer we saw recently still adorn the entrance to Dunham Massey Hall.

And the towpath in Dunham seemed to be even more muddy on the return journey.

Near Altrincham, the extensive grounds of the Linotype Works are now filling up with new housing. I wonder what will happen to the main building and the tower?

We were home with bragging rights to show off to about twenty other 'Sunday Christmas Walkers' when we signed in to our traditional Christmas quiz, which sadly this year couldn't take place in the cosy confines of the Crispin Inn in Great Longstone. A variety of kitchen/living room/study, etc venues had to suffice for this. However, the pictures were appreciated, and will form the basis of my next posting.

Sunday 20 December 2020

Another Saturday Morning at the Park

Another day, another (not)parkrun, my 181st daily 5 km saunter. That was before breakfast. Then Annie joined us on Zoom to take part in the 40th and final parkrun quiz hosted on Saturday mornings by Vassos Alexander. We are sad to see that Covid has sapped the energy of parkrun to this extent, but it does mean that in future we will get a bit more of a lie in before tootling around our 5 km course from home, then cycling down to the park to chat - socially distanced of course - with a few like minded souls.

The cafe staff who have appreciated our takeaway business during 2020 were very kind and handed out goodie bags with a scone and a mince pie to all the regulars. Brilliant.

Today was the traditional 'dress for Christmas' day, so I cycled down in my tree garb, which pleased everyone, including Isabella, who turned up with Mike and Sarah. Apparently Isabella likes green things, so I was popular for a while, and took my turn in pushing the pram.

Merry Christmas, everyone.